“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
What does St. Paul mean when he admonishes us to pray continually? Does he really think we can pray always? And if he does, how do we do that?
Well, for starters we should make sure we are setting aside specific time for prayer every day. That is so important. But, we should not limit our prayer to these scheduled times. Praying always means that we need to connect with God all throughout the day. We need to be aware of and respond to God’s loving presence at all times. That is how we can be praying always.
Here’s one way that we can continually lift our hearts and minds to God. Choose a passage from Scripture, an inspirational phrase or words of encouragement from one of the Saints. Write it on a piece of paper, and put it in your pocket, or post it on your computer screen or tape it to your cellphone. Let it become your go-to phrase or your “mantra”. Every time you see it, pray it.
When you find yourself feeling frustrated or worried, go to your encouraging words. When you feel tempted or when you get down, repeat your phrase a few times. When you are going from task to task, recall it. When you are happy proclaim it in loving thanks.
Over time, you’ll become more and more aware that God is always near. And, before you know it you will be praying always!
Sister Lisa Maurer
Sister Lisa Maurer was born and raised in Sleep Eye, Minnesota. Before entering the Monastery in 2007, she taught and coached in Catholic Schools within the New Ulm Diocese. Sister Lisa Made her Perpetual Monastic Profession in July 11, 2012. Her first ministry as a Benedictine Sister was working at the parishes of St. Lawrence and St. Joseph in Duluth. Currently she is Director of Mission Integration for the Benedictine Health System.